AIS Transactions on Human-Computer Interaction


Online reviews play a critical role in online shopping platforms by helping consumers make efficient shopping decisions despite the limited experiential information that online shopping forums provide. While platforms provide incentives to encourage consumers to write online reviews, consumers need additional information or cues about reviewers to build consumer trust and meet disclosure requirements about using incentives. This paper examines such disclosures in the form of two reviewer badges—the verified badge and the incentive badge—to better understand how badges, individually and jointly together, influence trust. We draw on the elaboration likelihood model (ELM) to investigate badges as peripheral cues and online review quality as a central cue in an online shopping scenario. We conducted two experimental studies to examine the effect that badges, when presented individually and together, had on consumers’ trusting beliefs, trusting attitude, and behavioral intentions. The verified badge increased trusting beliefs and the incentive badge largely decreased trusting beliefs, with both cues moderating (decreasing) the effect of argument quality on trusting beliefs when badges were presented individually. When we presented these mixed cues together, study participants directed their attention back to argument quality to resolve the ambiguity from mixed cues. While benevolence, integrity, and competence trusting beliefs were all influenced by the two badges, competence beliefs predominantly influenced trusting attitude.





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